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Squire (4/8)

  1. As I leaf through some previously chilly dormant parts of series I’ve found some words hotly at play in the text. There’s a cold burning relationship between Sap and Fire that feverishly and persistently exists. Separately, they are both cool metaphorical terms for warm blood and have a frigid association with eyes. The cold brooding weeping red eyes of the arid heart-trees were seemingly dripping (but now are frozen) with tears of bloody sap. Frozen sap seems to be another way of saying frozen fire. When we look at the eyes of Ser Waymar Royce the blood, seemingly red as fire, from his wounded left eye is bleeding because of a shard of frozen fire while the left eye is described to appear like a sapphire (sap+fire). It appears the two words, sap and fire, have come together to forge a description of the pupil burning blue in Waymar’s right eye (Sap + (ph)Fire = sapphire). Another interesting note is that the frozen sap in the eyes of the heart-tree looks like rubies. Rubies and sapphire are nearly the same on a molecular level. We, as avid rereaders ASOIAF, understand that the icy eyes can be steamy hints to bloodlines. And that molten bloodlines provide an icy undercurrent to the whole series. And with a little research we learn that sapphires are the Yin to the Yang of the rubies. They are two aspects of a greater whole. Symeon Star-eyes and Aemond Targaryen both have have eyes replaced with sapphires. Symeon Star-eyes, a legendary figure from the Age of Heroes, is said to have sapphires for eyes and once saw fiery hellhounds fighting while visiting the snowy Nightfort. And the cold blooded Aemond Targaryen, also has one sapphire adorning his other good eye. He is a member of House Targaryen and his sigil is the a three-headed dragon breathing flames, red on black. And the sticky hands and cheek of sap belonging to the first POV character of the series, Will, up a tree looking for a fire also seems to combine, perhaps in his subconscious, both elements of “Sap” and “Fire”.
  2. Well if the sit-downs between the illustrators and Martin were anything like the show runners and our author there again I’m not sure if we should put complete faith in the illustrators interpretation. And I don’t mean to simply argue; but, the sequence of events, from Will’s perspective, has the sword shattering then the eye injury and then Waymar taking a knee. He doesn’t drop to his knee before the injury. Perhaps any visual interpretation of the Prologue by illustrators or show directors risks giving away too much and thus Martin allows them to play into the vague terms and misconceptions of POV character. Will, as an unreliable narrator, has lots of latitude. The show and I’m guessing the illustrated books both don’t show the parallels you’ve discovered. And I have no doubt that Martin intended for those scenes to be parallel. One of the other parallels in the two scenes is the bolt from the crossbow that kills Kevan and the “pale sword” that is described like a bolt of lightning. The last six words in the last quote above is a simile that directly compares the “pale sword” to lightning.
  3. I bought the World Book too, love it, and it’s my understanding that the producers of the book worked closely with Martin. But I think where we are disagreeing is who the “twins to the first” are. The ones in that illustration can easily be considered to be standing patient, faceless and silent. They emerged from the shadow. But I don’t think they were twins to the shadow. It’s reasonable that Will, remembering the “far-eyes” would think these “watchers” looked the same. But certainly the shifting patterns of the delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood isn’t enough lock this in as fact; but your parallel certaintly helps.
  4. Ahhh yes:) This is a popular picture and, as a piece of art, I think it’s amazing. And I believe you’re probably right about it being apart of official 2016 calendar. And personally I don’t know what it means to be “official”. I assume there’s some type of contract involving copyrights and trademarks and so forth. But it obviously doesn’t speak to the accuracy of the illustration relative to the scene in the book. There are no shattered swords. The swords shattered before he went to his knees and a shard went into his eye. And it must have been Waymar’s right eye that was bloody and injured because his left eye looks pretty good. And Waymar in the illustration seems to be handling better than book Waymar, screaming and covering both eyes. These seem like big details that might make this great piece of art useless for book analysis. P. S. Thanks for the message!
  5. Ahhh:) Then where were we? You’re right that black absorbs. But like your cell phone powered down will reflect the light of a flashlight in a dark room. So does obsidian. But Waymar’s cloak likely makes him invisible in the mirror. That’s how the white shadow appears and disappears when Will initially sees it. Spells are words believed to do magic. A broken sword with magical runes on it can be said to have had it’s spell broken. Light from full risen half moon on a cloudy night is what’s lighting the obsidian wall or mirror in front of Waymar. A sword can break and I agree not shatter. Did you notice the needle in the eye?
  6. I have to apologize, I’ve learned that I’ve got a few things to learn about etiquette. I’ve learned that I’ve rudely hijacked a thread. I’ll look for a different thread that I’ve started. Sorry!
  7. I apologize. Looking back at it, I think you’re right. In my excitement to share my ideas I’ve not been very inconsiderate of sweetsunray’s thread. You’re right, I need to change my approach. My social etiquette with these online forums is poor. Sorry
  8. I’ll try to explain better. It didn’t start with @sweetsunray; but the mention of the parallels between Waymar’s apparent cold butchering and Kevan’s death scene helped tremendously. Initially, I’d seen a video saying that some of the inspiration for “A Song of Ice and Fire” came from a short poem written by Robert Frost. At around that time I was redrafting an old essay about Waymar’s sword as a personification of him. Many aspects of Waymar’s sword are similar to him. And so when I reread Waymar shouting, “For Robert”, while lifting his frost-covered longsword and then finding his fury I immediately thought there could be a connection with the author Robert Frost. Words and swords, anagrams for one another, seem closely associated with each other and brings to mind an old metonymic adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. The title of the popular poem, ’Fire and Ice’, is (in part) a reverse copy of the title of this series. And, as I intend to discuss, is uniquely and skillfully associated with Waymar’s eyes. At the same time I’d seen the video, I had been rereading the ‘Prologue of AGOT’ trying to keep in mind that everything in the Prologue is from Will’s POV. Personally, I often find myself forgetting to consider perspective and I miss some of the details; but searching for answers to some other questions I doubled my focus. Take for example how Will addresses Waymar out loud compared to the way he refers to him in his head. Will, listening to Waymar trying to bait Gared into a quarrel, silently labels Waymar as a “lordling”. It’s a diminutive title with a derogatory connotation. Out loud however; Will, only ever addresses Waymar as “m’lord”. There was one exception, it was when Will was feeling insolent and he sarcastically uses both syllables formally addressing him as, “my lord”. Even the time when Waymar points out how the Wall was weeping and how the cold wasn’t fierce enough to kill eight grown men Will feels no respect for Waymar. Will doesn’t think of Waymar as smart. In fact, he frowns at his arrogance, as Waymar nods and smiles looking cocksure. We know that because, in the moment of clarity, Will refers to him as a “lordling” again. The point is, I’d missed the fact that Will is never openly disrespectful. My mind often drifts from Will’s point of view to an omniscient point of view and I miss some of the smaller important details. Another case in point and one of the answers I was searching for was in regards to Will’s dirk. Initially, I had missed the fact that Will actually drops his dirk. Maybe you missed it too…the dirk that Waymar had put between his teeth to keep both hands free for climbing falls out when he opens his mouth to call down a warning to Waymar after seeing the pale shapes (a knife rose and fell). Will immediately tries calling to Waymar, who was looking sudden wary. The knight then starts turning in a circle. After realizing what I had missed, I thought to myself, ‘Why doesn’t Martin call anymore attention to this detail? And why create this action in the first place?’ To answer my first thought — because Will didn’t know he dropped it. And therefore we, the reader, don’t know he drops it. We, the reader, have to infer it from when he opens his mouth and suddenly Waymar is wary. Lastly, this action will help to partly set up the scene. And so… …So while still considering perspective and learning about the inspiration of “Fire and Ice” another thought came to me. I note how the title of the poem and the title of our story are inverse of each other. A sort of alternate point of view if you will. Consider this… This idea of parallel opposites aligns with some of the imagery I found some time ago. Take a moment and try to imagine or picture in your head an image of the Taijitu symbol or a sign for Yin/Yang … Now, using your minds eye, consider the Other’s perspective as we see Waymar, dressed in all black, turning in a circle against the backdrop of a ridge covered in a light snow from the night before. He’s about to dance with a “white shadow” emerging from the dark of the wood. A light snow and a dark wood are two opposite aspects of the settings symbolizing the two halves of the Yin and Yang symbol. The two figures in the scene appear in contrast with each half of the setting from which they emerge. They themselves are parallel opposites and are about to “dance”. The dancing, I believe, symbolizes the flowing relationship and sinuous line between the two halves of the Taijitu symbol. Taking a broader look at the chapter we begin to see that the same structure exists… …the two trees cast in the Prologue symbolize the two black and white dots of the Taijitu symbol. The ironwood, its’ wood hard and black, represents yin and the sentinel, soft and chapter begins before night falls. Will, using the daylight, spots a woman half-hid up an ironwood. The wood of an ironwood, a deciduous tree, is hard and black; a blackwood tree in the light of day. After night falls, in the second half of the chapter, Will is lost amongst the needles of a snow-cover evergreen, a soft wood sentinel tree; a snow-cover sentinel in the dark of night; two parallel opposites with the trees as parallel opposite aspects in each. Additionally, Will thinks the woman is frozen while he had been commanded to look for fire. I wonder, because Martin doesn’t use an outline, if this organization of two halves mingling together with aspects of the other in each helps him to maintain some type of structure and balance. He is a self-proclaimed gardener when it comes to how he writes; meaning he likes to allow his story to grow organically. This idea seems to illustrate some structural pattern. And there’s more evidence… To me, the taijitu image or inverse parallels crystallize and becomes more clear each time I read that chapter. Looking up the definition for the term Martin later uses for the “white shadow” helps to further validate this idea of inverse parallels or Yin and Yang; The “Other” with a capital “O” means “a person or thing that is the counterpart of someone or something else” I’ve considered the idea of the Other coming from some type of parallel alternate reality. But I’ve shelved that idea. Though I love it and intend on returning to it at some point. For now, I’ve seen the taijitsu symbol as showing some structure, in both a meta and micro sense, of both the whole scene and smaller moments. For example, when the “white shadow” stands in front of Royce. A shadow in the foreground can be interpreted as foreshadowing. But since Waymar is about to fight the shadow then perhaps we can look at this as a form of shadow boxing, except with swords. Or perhaps it can be interpreted either way. The latter again shows two aspects of a single being. And what I mean by micro is the same structure can be found in the smaller details of this scene. The half moon that Will sees seems like a hint at this concept. And again we are reminded of this concept when Will, in the sentinel tree, thinks he hears “a distant hoot of a snow owl” and then thinks he sees it reflection of a bird on the snow. Will thinking of a white snow owl in the dark of the wood and thinking he sees a shadow of bird on the surface of a light snow combine, in Will’s head, to form two aspects of the same thing. The fact that those thoughts, that came to Will as he looked and listened, combine in his head alludes to some subconscious thinking. The subconscious becomes an interesting topic for this chapter. Without going into that topic too deep here I’d like to point out that show runners conclude the prologue scene with a symbol for theta. Theta brainwaves known as the ‘suggestible waves’, because of their prevalence when one is in a trance or hypnotic state are the state of the brain found to be in a daydreaming or meditative state. But like Will’s subconscious, I believe the subtext really begins to reveal other aspects of the narrative. So, starting at the end, we begin to look back. First, looking at the symbolism in the eyes of Ser Waymar Royce from Will perspective — keep in mind the eye on the left is Waymar’s right eye and the right, his left — reads like the title of Robert Frost’s poem, “Fire and Ice”; but, from Waymar’s perspective we get “Ice and Fire” from the title of Martin’s series. The symbolism goes like this, from Will perspective, ”Fire” in the left eye and ”Ice” in the right. The ”Fire” in the left eye is, of course, figurative. Looking back, the blood that wells between Waymar’s fingers after he covers his eyes is…, going back a little further, described as “red as fire”. It’s a simile that engages our other senses and opens the door to the subtext. The right eye compares perfectly and directly with another set of figuratively burning blue eyes. Again looking back, those eyes that “burned like ice”, are another simile. Two similes, nice balance and structure by our author, agree? A set of eyes/ a pair of similes/ ”Fire” and ”Ice”. The balance and structure continues to align well with the taijitsu symbol. There are two inverse parallels, “Fire” and “Ice” with aspects of the other in each. Instead of burning fire, we have burning ice. Thus and therefore I think it’s reasonable to assume that instead of frozen ice, we should have frozen fire. This would continue structural balance and the pattern of the symmetry we are seeing. Next, I believe we are seeing this theory hold up when we look at the shard. The “shard” that transfixes Waymar’s left eye must be frozen fire or obsidian. However, we should look back at the shard for further proof. In order for Martin to continue to achieve balance with his structure…the left eye is said to be “transfixed” while the right eye, we are discreetly and indirectly told, is “fixed”. “Transfixed”, meaning something is held in place and kept from moving. And then “Fixed”, meaning something is locked-on to something else moving, so as to be moving itself; again two parallel opposites. The left eye is blind and not moving while the right eye saw and is fixed on something moving. But Martin uses some wordplay . The left eye is “transfixed” by a shard of “frozen fire” while the right eye is “fixed” on “burning ice”. “Frozen fire”/“Burning ice”, again two inverse parallels (”Fire” and “Ice”) with reverse aspects of both (“Frozen” and “Burning”) in each. At this point “Frozen fire” is a bit of a leap. While the structure and balance of the figurative language here supports the idea; The shard came from a rain of a hundred needles produced by a brittle shivering longsword. So figuratively, the shard is a symbolic needle. So we have a figurative needle in the left eye of Ser Waymar Royce or the “fire” eye. A needle in the eye harkens back to an old childhood saying, an oath, said to ensure that the truth was being told. It goes like this, “I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye. And so if a person lied or broke their word or went back on their promise then they would hope die and get a needle in the eye to ensure their death. Sticking a needle in a person’s eye was a method done long ago to ensure they were dead before they were buried. Will thinks the hundred needles came solely from the shattering steel. the blade of a longsword. It shattered when the blades touched and the steel shattered. At this moment we are never told what is happening to the pale longsword. Did the shard come from it? Will is thinking that the steel shatters and this is confirmed later on when finds the broken hilt. “A Song”, the terms at the beginning of the title for Martin’s story reminds us that stories also have rhythm and flow. It’s partly what makes them easy to remember and why Bards told their stories the way they did. For example, after Will finds Waymar’s broken hilt he thinks, ‘Gared will know what to make of it but wonders if he would still be waiting with the horses. He then thinks to himself, ‘He had to hurry.’ This alliteration speeds up the flow of the reading adding to the sense of urgency that Will is feeling.
  9. Sorry if I haven’t made it clear. The watchers are the CotF. The watchers are different from the pale shapes and the white shadow. The watchers are like the far-eyes in the ironwood. Will is thinking of her when he first sees the watchers emerge silently from the shadows.
  10. I’m not saying that the the mirror is a glass candle. I’m saying that all the same elements are there. Here’s that video Here I’m saying the parts of the great rock(pale sword) shattered. Obsidian (the shard) that catches the moon’s light appears pale. The shard in his eye is frozen fire from the “great rock”. Will only thinks it’s from Waymar’s sword when sees his left eye. Will (an unreliable narrator) is mistaken about the origin of the shard. The shard is like you phone glass. It’s like having your phone off in a dark room. Then turning on a flashlight (the moon). At the right angle the phones surface will appear pale. In order for Waymar’s sword to freeze like your suggesting his hand would also (and likely more) I would agree that Waymar’s (handsome) reflection is “strange, beautiful…”. His reflection is “a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.” The reflection is an aspect of a living thing. ”Sidhe made of ice” - the mirror has a thin sheet of ice.
  11. Sorry, wish I was better at explaining my thoughts. You’ve shown patients
  12. I’m referring to the watchers here; not the Other.
  13. the “watchers” that are knowingly watching Waymar fight himself. They, in their delicate armor or cloaks of leaves, are half-hid, faces shadowed and waiting patiently. When Waymar breaks his sword, pieces of frozen fire from the mirror also shatter. The shards of frozen fire pierce his ringmail, they don’t slice. The shards are like splinters and ringmail protects against slices. The shards rain down like needles. Waymar covers his eyes and goes to his knees. A shard of frozen fire has also pierced his eye. Simultaneously, the watchers move forward and Will closes his eyes. He can’t watch the cold blooded butchery that he is anticipating. Note: The “pale blades” use the same terminology as the “pale sword” or the shards of frozen fire. Also, the “pale sword” was described initially as a “shard” of crystal. We know frozen fire is volcanic glass. Will, eyes still closed, hears voices and laughter while he was thinking about Waymar getting coldly butchered. (Translation of the voices he heard: Fool kicked his own ass) They didn’t slaughter him. Waymar has some injuries and Will is holding up the pommel, with a sapphire in it, of his broken hilt to his face but he’s still alive. And, I’m not sure, but I think Will only fainted. Again Will closes his eyes. He never saw the long, elegant hands that brushed his cheek; which sounds like a caring gesture. Remember he had sticky sap on his cheek from the tree. We don’t know if Waymar had long, elegant hands. However, long, elegant hands might well describe the hands of the tree climbing children of the forest. Perhaps they were placing Waymar’s sable cloak around his neck, no sure.
  14. A half moon was full risen on a cloudless night. Will was grateful for the light. Will is commanded, by Waymar, up the tree to look for a fire and to be quick about it. In a rush Will becomes lost amongst the needles, he has lost his bearings. He no longer knows where, exactly, Waymar and the “great rock” are. But he see something that, in his mind, he vaguely describes as pale shapes. In his head he differentiates the pale shapes from the white shadow that he sees when he turns his head. He doesn’t think that it’s another pale shape because it likely has more form. The pale shapes are actually from the captured moonlight that the sapphire gems on Waymar’s hilt are casting. Will having lost his bearings doesn’t see the origin of the pale shapes. But they glide through the wood. Will feels a need to call down a warning but the white shadow disappears as Waymar moves past the view of the mirror. The knife in his mouth falls out. It’s at this precise moment that Waymar is suddenly wary. Turning in circles he too become disoriented. This is why he calls up to Will, he knows Will is in the sentinel tree. If Will answers he’ll be able to regain his bearings. But Will, afraid, doesn’t call out. He can’t explain what he just saw. Waymar still moving, unknowingly, comes to stand in front of the “great rock”. And that’s when Will sees the Other Waymar. At this point, like Will’s inner monologue questions, it’s been a trick of the moonlight. Next, as I suggested, we see both Waymar and the Other Waymar mirror each others actions in the mirror: They both already have their swords drawn. These are the first actions of the encounter. Waymar’s cloak had made him invisible in the mirror. It wasn’t reflective. But when he throws it back over his shoulders we get a lengthy description of the Other Waymar and his sword. The sword had been in one hand for only a moment in order to throw his cloak over his shoulders; but that’s when we get the sword description. Waymar bravely and gracefully steps forward and warns his reflection to “Come no further”. From this we are never told the starting position of the Other Waymar. However, we are told that the Other Waymar is looking up. And in turn we are not told where Waymar is looking. Martin leaves these things out to hide the facts. But we can infer the Other Waymar’s starting position. The pale sword, like Waymar’s sword, was also trembling or shivering and they met in the air. I believe Waymar saw the Other Waymar’s sword high in the air and saw it as his challenge being excepted. So both swords were high in the air and both sets of eyes fixed on the other’s sword. At this point every blow is accounted for with neither combatant gaining an advantage. Because the swords will always come together in the mirror. And then Waymar’s sword becomes white with frost as he is panting from effort and his breath steams in the moonlight. His sword is like a car windshield in moist cold air. The moisture will gather on a smooth cold surface and freeze. Then Waymar is bit through the ringmail beneath the arm. Will assumes it was the pale sword. What doesn’t happen here is a death blow. Waymar is pierced by an arrow from the man that was up against the rock earlier. Waymar’s sword action stops as he checks his wound; and so does the sword action of the pale sword. Quick note: Waymar’s blood only “seemed” red as fire because of the Purkinje effect. Check this out here. The blood there is actually black. The point in me sharing that is that Will is an unreliable narrator. We can’t believe everything he sees; including the arrow he doesn’t see. And so when Will watches the next sword actions, he sees one action as a Waymar putting all his weight behind it and the Other Waymar swing as being lazy; but they are the exact same swing just different in Will’s mind because know Waymar is desperate. And again the swords come together again, but this time the sword breaks and the stone shatters. This post has given all the actions of the duel. At minimum I believe it shows that it’s possible that Waymar is looking in a mirror. Notice how we never get a further description of the Other Waymar or the pale sword after the shattering.
  15. They are not the “other Others”. They are the watchers. The shifting patterns of their delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood sounds very much like CotF cloaks of leaves. Watchers that are “far” beneath him seem more closely associated with a far-eyes than a tall, gaunt shadow with flesh pale as milk. I think it very reasonably for Will to remember the far-eyes immediately when he sees the watchers. They look alike.
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